GNA Board To Build a Strategy to Oppose Conference Center

The GNA Board has decided not to pursue a technical legal appeal of the County Commissioner‘s decision on the Conference Center. Instead, the GNA will focus its resources to positively address the Environmental Impact Study requirements and to oppose the Special Use Permit improperly sought by the developer in order to build this commercial business on residential property.

Here is some background:

In the technical legal challenge, the Griffin Neighborhood Association asserted that the conference center application had lapsed according to County regulation timelines. In the appeal to the Commissioners, the GNA also noted that the County erred when it allowed the application to continue, long after deadlines stated in the County’s own regulations.

While County Commissioners admonished their own staff over the handling of the deadlines, two of the Commissioners ruled that declaring a lapsed application would be too great a penalty, that would be borne entirely by the applicant (The Willis Family Trust) who was not responsible for the error.

Following this decision, members of the GNA Board met with counsel and heard that this precedent-setting circumstance in a court case would likely be decided in agreement with the majority Commissioner’s decision, rather than impose the penalty of lapsing the application.

What we plan to do next:

By deciding not to pursue the rather technical issue of how County staff mishandled this application, the GNA Board has decided to focus efforts to oppose the Conference Center related to the Environmental Impact Study and the issuance of a Special Use Permit, which was not in keeping with the “community club” definitions in the County regulations at the time of the application. The Board believes it is much more likely to be able to defeat the project in this way.

The Board has begun to develop a strategy to oppose the Conference Center’s application in public hearings, in the press and in our neighborhoods. A fundraising effort will continue so that the GNA can afford the kinds of expert witnesses required to counter claims by the developer and the County that no traffic mitigation is required, that the project will not affect drainage or water quality, parking, and that residential property can converted for this commercial use.

How you can help:

  • Stay informed via the GNA website at
  • The GNA will be creating small groups to develop our case, for public hearing, against the conference center. These groups will focus on these key areas:
    • Legal strategy
    • Water
    • Traffic/Parking
    • Noise/Outdoor Light
    • Quality of Life
    • Fundraising and Public Outreach
  • The Board will soon be asking for volunteers to help staff these groups. Bring your time and input to small group meetings that will brainstorm and plan for opposition strategies.
  • One of these groups will be coordinating a letter-writing campaign. Volunteer to write letters to the County, to The Olympian, and elsewhere.
  • Volunteer by contacting the GNA: Leave a voice mail message at 252-6047 or email us at
  • If you are not already a member of the GNA, click here to join us!

Thank you for becoming involved in preserving the rural nature of our community.

Posted in Uncategorized.